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Nicolas Maduro’s government obliged Venezuelans to pay foreign passport fees with Petro cryptocurrency

Starting next week, Venezuelans will have to pay their foreign passport fees with the state-backed Petro cryptocurrency, as announced by the country’s vice president Delcy Rodriguez at a press conference last Friday.

Petro coins are supposed to correlate in price with Venezuelan oil basket price, which is about $60 per barrel. According to Rodriguez, new passports will cost two petros ($115), with extensions costing half that price ($57.5). For Venezuelans abroad the fees for new passports and extensions will be $200 and $100 respectively.

Accoding to Bloomberg, such fee amounts are four times the monthly minimum wage in the country. Thus, the enforcement of new rules will make it much more difficult for Venezuelans to leave the country.

The public sale of petros will reportedly start on November 5.

Back in August, the new “sovereign” bolivar was released for circulation in the country. The new currency is now tied to the oil-backed Petro crytocurrency. As for Petro itself, it has been recognized as a “sovereign cryptoasset backed and issued by the Venezuelan state”. The issuance of coins is carried out by the country’s national bank. Venezuela will issue 100 million crypto coins based on NEM blockchain.

Last week, bitcoin trading volumes have set a new record in Venezuela in the prospect of the oncoming economic turmoil.